Tulum to Cancun

Overview Compare Minivan Taxi Bus Colectivo From Airport To Stay Questions

How to get from Tulum to Cancun (Sorted by popularity)

There are 5 ways to travel the 131 km distance (81 miles) from Tulum to Cancun: a 2.5-hour minivan, a 2.5-hour taxi, a 3-hour bus, a 2.5-hour direct colectivo, or a 3-hour indirect colectivo via Playa del Carmen. Fares range between 87 MXN ($4.45) and 2,030 MXN ($100).

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Minivan2.5 hours215 MXN ($11)Check Minivan Tickets
Taxi or Private Car2.5 hours2,030 MXN ($100)Check Private Transfers
Bus3 hours275 MXN ($14)Check Bus Tickets
Colectivo2.5 hours130 MXN ($6.50)Check Colectivo Tickets
Colectivo via Playa del Carmen3 hours87 MXN ($4.45)Read article for more info

A cheap and direct way to travel from Tulum to Cancun is by shared minivan. With fares only from 215 MXN ($11), you can get to Cancun city centre in 2.5 hours. However, there are only four departures daily, giving you limited options.

When travelling in a group and wanting a door-to-door ride, it’s worth considering taking a taxi or private car instead. Rates start from 2,030 MXN ($100).

The bus offers a good mix of budget and convenience, but not much on safety. You have to be mindful of petty thieves and may end up worrying about them for the entire ride. Compared to colectivos, though, buses have more legroom and space for luggage. Bus fares from Tulum to Cancun start from 235 MXN ($12).

Colectivos are not as spacious as the bus, but you can get a direct ride for 130 MXN ($6.50), about half the price of a bus journey. There are also indirect colectivos available via Playa del Carmen, which is the cheapest option for this route. Combined fares start from only 87 MXN ($4.45).

New to Cancun? Our compact Cancun guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Cancun!

Transport to Cancun Airport

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Shared Minivan to Cancun Airport2.5 hours490 MXN ($25)Check Minivan Tickets
Private transfer to Cancun Airport2 hours1,390 MXN ($71)Check Private Transfers
Bus to Cancun Airport2 hours300 MXN ($15)Check Bus Tickets

For those looking to travel from Tulum directly to Cancun Airport, there are options available that don’t require you to enter downtown Cancun. You can find out more about this in the last section of this article.

Itinerary from Tulum to Cancun

Tulum to Cancun by Shared Minivan

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 215 MXN ($11)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 215 MXN ($11)

Shared minivans are a direct way to travel from Tulum to Cancun. There used to be shared minivans with hotel pick-up and drop-off, but the minivans available now only operate between the city centres.

Travel time takes 2.5 hours. Just a little cheaper than the bus, tickets cost 215 MXN ($11).

A disadvantage of shared minivans is that there are only four departures in a day, unlike the buses with hourly trips.

Departure and arrival station

Minivans are available along C. Alfa Sur 7 right in the city centre. You can find them just behind the local market.

In Cancun city centre, you will be dropped off at Avenida Uxmal near the ADO bus station. If you’re heading to the hotel zone, you’ll need to take a taxi with rates from 210 MXN ($10.50).

You can also wait for a bus in front of the bus station. Lines R-1, R-3 and R-38 head to the beach and hotel area, and fares are as cheap as 15 MXN ($0.75).

Minivan schedule from Tulum to Cancun

Bus OperatorSchedulesCosts
Chiquila Holbox Extreme09:30-12:00
10:30-13:00
16:00-18:30
17:30-20:00
215 MXN ($11)
Check Minivan Tickets

Since there are only a few departures a day, it’s best to book your tickets in advance via BookAway.

Tulum to Cancun by Taxi

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 2,030 MXN ($100)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 2,030 MXN ($100)

Taxis are also available from Tulum to Cancun. Rates start from 2,080 MXN ($105) for a ride with trusted taxi companies. Some taxi drivers from the streets may be willing to charge a lower rate. Just keep in mind that they may not be as reliable as taxi drivers from established operators.

So instead of taking a taxi, why not book a private car beforehand? Private cars are normally more spacious than ordinary taxis and they come with trusted drivers. You can also easily book one online through BookAway. Prices start from 2,030 MXN ($100) for a 4-seater car.

Important: When booking your ride online, make sure you pick one that’s heading to either downtown Cancun or the Hotel Zone, wherever you’re staying. Fares for taxis and private cars from Tulum to Cancun Airport are about $30 cheaper and may look tempting, but keep in mind that the airport is still 20 minutes away from Cancun’s tourist area.

Check Private Transfers on BookAway

Tulum to Cancun by Bus

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 275 MXN ($14)
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 275 MXN ($14)

Tulum’s bus station is located in the centre of town. This makes it easily accessible by foot or by taxi if you’re staying slightly further away or in one of the beach areas.

A good average rate for a ride from the beach areas to the bus terminal is around 150 MXN ($7.50). However, keep in mind that taxis in Tulum are not metered, so it’s better to agree on the rate before getting in.

Step 1: Tulum to Cancun by Bus

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 260 MXN ($13)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 260 MXN ($13)

You can take an ADO bus to get to Cancun from Tulum. All buses are air-conditioned, are equipped with reclining seats and have a toilet on board. Operated by Mexico’s biggest bus company, you can expect a comfortable ride with ADO.

A bus ticket costs 260 MXN ($13) and the journey takes around 2.5 hours.

Bus schedule from Tulum to Cancun

Bus OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
ADO Bus12x departures a day from
10:20 to 22:20
2.5 hours260 MXN ($13)
Check Bus Tickets

You can buy your tickets at the ADO bus station, but we recommend booking them online at least a day before to be secured a seat. BookAway is our preferred platform because there are no hidden charges, unlike other booking websites.

When booking, it’s important to pay attention to the departure and arrival points. Some Tulum buses depart from the archaeological site instead of the city centre where you may be located.

Day trip from Tulum to Cancun by Bus

Not a fan of big cities like Cancun? Although we don’t recommend cutting your visit so short, it’s possible. Taking the bus, you can travel round trip between Tulum and Cancun in just one day. Just note that unless you take the earliest morning trip, you can only spend around 6 hours in this vibrant city.

If you really must travel round trip, we suggest that you at least spend a night in Cancun before going back to Tulum.

Step 2: Cancun Bus Station to City Centre

Duration: 5-15 minutes
Cost: 15 MXN ($0.75)
Duration: 5-15 minutes
Cost: 15 MXN ($0.75)

Buses stop at Cancun’s main bus station, conveniently located in downtown Cancun, with many hotels and hostels located close by or just a few blocks away. This gives you the perfect opportunity to exercise your legs after the long bus journey.

However, if you are staying a bit further away, in the beach areas, for example, you may have to take a taxi to get to your final destination. Taxis are available from outside of the bus station and are metered, so rates will depend on the distance and time.

An average ride to the beach area is around 210 MXN ($10.50).

Another option is to use public transport. Buses pass in front of the bus terminal on Avenida Tulum and lines R-1, R-3 and R-38 connect the bus stop with the beach and hotel area. The rate for the buses is 15 MXN ($0.75) to be paid directly to the bus driver.

Tulum to Cancun by Colectivo

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 130 MXN ($6.50)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 130 MXN ($6.50)

Mainly used by locals in Riviera Maya, most colectivos operating from Tulum to Cancun are indirect. You’ll have to make a transfer at Playa del Carmen. This shared shuttle is the cheapest option at 87 MXN ($4.45).

It is worth noting that one company, Sindicato Lazaro Cardenas, operates direct colectivo trips between Tulum and Cancun. These colectivos are available every hour from 08:00 to 20:00. A ticket costs 130 MXN ($6.50), just $2.50 more expensive than the indirect alternative.

Colectivo schedule from Tulum to Cancun

Minivan OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
Sindicato Lazaro CardenasEvery hour from
08:00 to 20:00
2.5 hours130 MXN ($6.50)
Check Minivan Tickets
*COVID-19 UPDATE: The last time we checked (October 2022), this direct colectivo from Tulum to Cancun is unavailable. Please check the provided link to see if anything has changed.

The direct colectivos depart from Calle Jupiter in Tulum city centre and arrive at Puente Peatonal in Cancun city centre. Travel time is around 2.5 hours. That’s 30 minutes faster than the indirect colectivo!

You can book your ride online beforehand via BookAway.

Indirect colectivo from Tulum to Cancun via Playa del Carmen

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 87 MXN ($4.45)
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 87 MXN ($4.45)

Although a bit of a hassle with the extra transfer, the perk of taking the indirect colectivo is that you can travel more like a local. And of course, the minimal cost. Combined ticket prices are only around 90 MXN ($4.60) and can be paid directly on the bus.

If you prefer to have this indirect shared shuttle experience, read on for a step-by-step guide!

Step 1: Tulum to Playa del Carmen by Colectivo

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 42 MXN ($2.15)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 42 MXN ($2.15)

Colectivos to Playa del Carmen depart from a stop at the intersection of Chetumal and Calle Osiris Norte in the city centre. There are two companies operating this route: Playa Express and Colectivos Foraneos. Each company has their own stop and buses run every 15 minutes or when the vehicle reaches capacity.

Playa Express operates from 04:00 to 23:00, while Colectivos Foraneos runs 24 hours. Our first choice is Playa Express because their vehicles are more comfortable, with more space between seats and working AC.

The average rate to Playa del Carmen is 42 MXN ($2.15), but it can increase during peak tourist season. You can pay your ticket directly to the bus driver.

Step 2: Playa del Carmen to Cancun by Colectivo

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 45 MXN ($2.30)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 45 MXN ($2.30)

When you arrive in Playa del Carmen, simply get off at the last stop. This is where you’ll also find the colectivos bound for Cancun, which are operated by the same two companies. They depart every 15 minutes.

The 1.5-hour ride to Cancun costs around 45 MXN ($2.30), but prices can increase during peak tourist seasons.

The colectivos’ last stop is one block from the bus station in Cancun city centre. Unlike buses, you can get off before the last stop if your accommodation is on the way.

Extra note on the Colectivo’s running between Cancun-Playa del Carmen-Tulum

Colectivo’s running on the route from Cancun-Playa del Carmen-Tulum are originally not intended for tourists. They mainly transport locals and workers from the resorts and tourist attractions.

They have become popular among independent travellers and low-budget tourists because they stop everywhere, allowing people to visit multiple beaches, cenotes and the Tulum ruins without paying for expensive tours.

Travelling from Tulum to Cancun Airport

Duration: 2-2.5 hours
Cost: 300 MXN ($15)
Duration: 2-2.5 hours
Cost: 300 MXN ($15)

If you’re flying out of the Riviera Maya, you can travel directly from Tulum to Cancun International Airport. It is the busiest airport in the Yucatan Peninsula and the closest airport to Tulum.

There are 3 ways to do this: by bus, shared minivan/airport shuttle or with a private transfer. All three options have an average duration of 2 hours, but the bus may take an extra 15 minutes because it makes a short stop in Playa del Carmen.

IMPORTANT: When booking any of the Cancun Airport transportation services, remember to leave Tulum at least 6 hours before your flight to account for any traffic, roadworks or in the case of shared services, any issue with additional stops.

Compare transport options from Tulum to Cancun Airport

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Shared Minivan to Cancun Airport2.5 hours490 MXN ($25)Check Minivan Tickets
Private transfer to Cancun Airport2 hours1,390 MXN ($71)Check Private Transfers
Bus to Cancun Airport2 hours300 MXN ($15)Check Bus Tickets

Shared minivan from Tulum to Cancun Airport

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 490 MXN ($25)
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 490 MXN ($25)

A shared shuttle is a good option if you want a direct ride from your hotel in Tulum to Cancun Airport but do not have the budget for a private transfer. Minivans depart every hour, 24 hours a day.

Note that the minivan may make a few stops on the way to pick up other passengers. You can book this Cancun Airport shuttle on BookAway with rates from 490 MXN ($25).

Private shuttle from Tulum to Cancun Airport

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 1,390 MXN ($71)
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 1,390 MXN ($71)

Another good option is to hire a private shuttle. Your private driver will pick you up from your accommodation and take you directly to the airport. This service is provided by several companies that allow you to book in advance online.

We recommend booking your ride via BookAway, which offers the cheapest rates we’ve found for this route. Prices start from 1,390 MXN ($71) for a 6 to 8-seater minivan.

If you prefer to travel with one of the local agencies in Tulum, eTransfers and Happy Shuttle Cancun receive the best reviews and cost/benefit ratio. Rates for private transfers going to Cancun International Airport start at 1,400 MXN ($71) one way.

ADO Bus from Tulum to Cancun Airport

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 300 MXN ($15)
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: 300 MXN ($15)

You can also get a direct bus to Cancun International Airport from Tulum. These are run by the company ADO and depart five times a day from 07:10 to 15:00 (roughly every 2 hours). As you’ll be travelling with a popular company, you can expect a secure and pleasant ride with an ADO bus.

Buses leave from the ADO bus terminal in the centre of town. You can buy your ticket directly at the bus station or book it online through Clickbus. The bus rate is 300 MXN ($15).

Cancun to Tulum Guide

If you’re heading the other way around, you can also check out our guide for Cancun to Tulum.

 

Our favourite places to stay in Cancun

Sina Suites - Treating Yourself

Resorts in Cancun can cost you a bomb! Sina Suites gives you that resort-style feel without the high prices. Ever wanted your own private marina in a hotel? Now you probably do, and Sina Suites has one. It also has a large swimming pool set amongst gardens that overlook the lagoon.

You can enjoy a continental breakfast and delicious Mexican food in their poolside restaurant and bar that sits underneath a traditional thatched hut! You’ll also get more than just a room, most suites also offer a kitchenette and balcony.

  • Views overlooking Cancun lagoon
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Bar and restaurant
  • Great location

Double rooms start from $80 per night

Check Latest Price

Viento Suites - Mid Range

Viento Suites is somewhat of an escape from the busy and hectic cancun. Once you’re inside the walls of the hotel, chilling in the garden beside the swimming pool, you’ll forget about the outside world.

The location couldn’t be more perfect. It’s situated within Downtown Cancun but also very close to the Hotel Zone and beaches. The rooms look like those from a high-class hotel, but without the extortionate prices.

  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • BBQ facilities
  • Great location
  • Clean and spacious rooms

Double rooms between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

Yellow Capsule Hotel - Budget Friendly

Looking for a unique sleeping experience? The Yellow Capsule Hotel will definitely give you that. Instead of traditional rooms, you’ll get to sleep in a pod. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the future when you clamber into your bright and spacious pod.

The capsules are clean and include everything you need for a comfy stay, a mirror, outlets, a safe and storage space. When you’re done hangin around in your pod, you can chill at the hotel's terrace and enjoy their free breakfast.

  • Cool capsule sleeping experience
  • Friendly and helpful staff
  • Great location

Double rooms between $15-$40 per night

Check Latest Price

Estancia Tulbayab 36 - Budget Friendly

If you prefer a homely feel compared to hotels then definitely stay at Estancia. The owners will instantly make you feel welcome and are always there to offer advice.

The homestay offers a very convenient location, close to the local markets and not too far from the ADO bus station. The rooms are clean and spacious, plus a steal for their price. If you fancy doing some cooking whilst in Cancun, you can make use of the communal kitchen.

  • Great location
  • Clean and spacious rooms
  • Helpful and friendly hosts
  • You’ll feel like home

Double rooms between $15-$40 per night

Check Latest Price

 

Frequently asked questions

What to expect when visiting Cancun?

Cancun has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the whole of Mexico, particularly amongst American tourists. Attracted by the clear-blue Caribbean Sea and white-sand beaches, many see Cancun as a place to relax, preferably in one of its luxury resorts.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eLocated north of Riviera Maya, Cancun is known for its all-inclusive resorts, nightclubs, bars and too many restaurants to choose from! If you could get a Cancun hotel by the beach, you’re already guaranteed a lovely visit.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThis busy city is also the door to other popular sites in the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as the rest of Mexico due to u003ca href=u0022https://www.geckoroutes.com/mexico/cancun-airport/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00224540851u0022u003eCancun International Airportu003c/au003e, which is well connected for both domestic and international flights. It is the closest airport to nearby popular destinations and also serves Playa del Carmen and Tulum, among a few other towns.

Can you rent a car from Tulum to Cancun?

Yes, you can be your very own private driver when travelling between Tulum and Cancun. Rental cars in Mexico are very cheap. u003cbru003eu003cbru003ePrices start from 570 MXN ($29) for a 24-hour rental and 2,375 MXN ($120) if you want to rent for a week. For the cheapest rentals and most extensive selection, book one through u003ca href=u0022https://www.kayak.com/cars/u0022 data-type=u0022URLu0022 data-id=u0022https://www.kayak.com/cars/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopener nofollowu0022u003eKayaku003c/au003e or u003ca href=u0022https://www.skyscanner.net/carhireu0022 data-type=u0022URLu0022 data-id=u0022https://www.skyscanner.net/carhireu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopener nofollowu0022u003eSkyscanneru003c/au003e.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eMake sure you have a valid driver’s license! We also recommend that you check out our u003ca href=u0022https://www.geckoroutes.com/blog/10-car-rental-tips-to-save-money/u0022 data-type=u0022postu0022 data-id=u00224536638u0022u003etips for renting a caru003c/au003e to help you save money.

Was this post helpful?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Your feedback is very valueable to us

How we can improve this post?

1K view